Below are answers to some of the questions that we are most frequently asked by veterans and their family members.

If you can’t find the information you are looking for below, please get in touch.

Am I a Veteran?

Veterans are defined as anyone who has served for at least one day in His Majesty's Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or Merchant Mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations.

What about Veterans’ families?

Veterans’ families – spouses, partners, children and parents – are all considered part of the veterans community.

What is a Commissioner?

A person authorised to do certain things by a specific Commission or Government Ministers.

What does the Scottish Veterans Commissioner do for the veterans’ community?

The Commissioner’s role is to improve outcomes for veterans in Scotland by championing the challenges facing veterans and influencing policymakers to address any changes required in devolved public services to meet veterans’ needs. You can read more about the role here.

A number of recommendations have been made by the Commissioner to help improve services, support and opportunities for veterans and their families which the Scottish Government has committed to implementing. The Commissioner reports annually on the progress that has been made against those recommendations. You can view the latest progress report here.

Does the Scottish Veterans Commissioner work for the Scottish Government?

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner is independent from the Scottish Government. All assessments and reports are impartial and she holds the Scottish Government to account when improvement is required in meeting veterans’ needs.

Can the Scottish Veterans Commissioner help me resolve an issue I am experiencing?

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner does not have the resource or remit to get involved in individual cases. She is not an Ombudsman and has no authority to intervene or investigate in such cases.

However, she is always open to hearing about the issues being experienced by the veterans’ community to help inform her work. While unable to operate at an individual level, should she see widespread evidence of problems within a particular area, she will address these at a national level.

If you are looking for advice or support with a specific issue, we suggest you visit our Support for Veterans page.

Can I share a negative or positive experience with the Commissioner?

The Commissioner is always open to hearing the experiences – both good and bad – of veterans and their families when accessing public services in Scotland. This helps to build a wider picture of strengths and gaps in the provision of support and services across Scotland.

If you would like to share an experience, please send us an email. Please note that the Commissioner is unable to intervene or investigate in individual cases.

If you are looking for advice or support with a specific issue, we suggest you visit our Support for Veterans page.

Can the Scottish Veterans Commissioner help with my Armed Forces Compensation or War Pension claim?

No. The Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s role is to assess and give advice to the Scottish Government and other public sector organisations in Scotland. Armed Forces Compensation and War Pension schemes are the responsibility of the UK Government, therefore the Commissioner does not have any power in this area.

For compensation, pension and welfare support you should always contact Veterans UK in the first instance. Their contact details can be found here.

Where can I get support with an issue I am dealing with?

Support (other than for pensions and compensation) is available from a wide range of statutory and charitable organisations, spanning areas such as employment, health and wellbeing, housing and finance. You can find more information here.

You can also get support from the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) which provides a professional help and advice service to veterans or anyone supporting a veteran, their families and dependants.

How can I invite the Commissioner to my organisation or event?

The Commissioner is passionate about the veterans community and spends a lot of time visiting organisations and speaking with their members and staff. There are many organisations doing valuable and inspiring work, and while she would love to visit them all, it won’t always be possible to accept every invitation.

If you would like to invite the Commissioner to visit your organisation or event, please get in touch with us.

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There's still time to share your views. If you're a member of the #veterans community living in Scotland, I want to know whether or not you feel valued by society. 📊 Please spare a minute to take part in my poll - it's only one question. 🔗 Visit the homepage of my website using the link in my bio to take part. #VeteransVoice
5 hours ago
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@forceschildrenscotland has launched an influencing strategy and manifesto which sets out its plans to drive forward meaningful change and by helping to ensure that the voices of children and young people from Forces families are heard. This important work is hugely welcome Read more about the strategy and manifesto here ➡️
1 day ago
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Great to visit @lothiansvets yesterday and hear about their work. I enjoyed listening to veterans and their partners, as well as meeting the dedicated staff and volunteers. Huge thanks to everyone I met. #VeteransSupport #VeteransVoice #VeteransCommunity
1 week ago
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It's my vision that all members of Scotland's #veterans community - including spouses, partners, children of veterans, and the bereaved - feel valued by society. 📊 If you’re part of this community, please spare a minute to take part in my poll at (🔗 Link in bio) #VeteranSupport #VeteransVoice #ValueVeterans
1 week ago